Best Mountain Bikes Under $200: The Ultimate Guide & Reviews
Looking for the best mountain bikes under $200? Mountain bikes are available in different price ranges but if you are looking for an economical bike, you should search for specific features. In this way, you will be able to get a bike that has the most important features under a low budget.
For example, hardtail bikes and bikes with rim brakes are usually less expensive and they are great for use by beginners. We have used these and other features in this article to suggest the top MTBs for your use. You will also find a detailed buyer’s guide that will help you pick the best bike depending on your requirements.
Shortlisted Best Mountain Bikes Under $200
Below are some of the best MTBs that we have picked after carefully considering the budget and essential features. You can read the reviews to decide which one best suits your requirements.
Kent MTB with Full Suspension & Disc Brake
This Kent bike has an aluminum frame that is quite durable and sturdy. It is suitable for adults and has 26-inch wheels. The best thing is that you can get this mountain bike for under $200, and still enjoy the full suspension and a disc brake.
The disc brake is present only on the front while on the back it has a linear brake. Apart from that it has two sets of gears that are very comfortable to shift. And although the appearance is not the most crucial feature, the bike looks great. Most users appreciate the cool blue-lining tires on this bike.
Apart from the outstanding features, it also has some setbacks. The most common problem is the assembly. Putting it together is not as simple as Dynacraft Magna because instructions are not clear. So if you do not have much experience, it is better to hire someone to assemble it for you.
Also, you have to get the tools yourself as they are not included in the package. You will require a C wrench and Allen keys. You should also get a pump because the tires are not inflated. But other than tricky assembly, the bike offers the highest value at such a low price.
Mongoose Status MTB
The Mongoose status is another economical MTB. It is available in two sizes, i.e., 26 and 27.5 inches and you can pick from three different color combinations. This bike also has an aluminum frame that proves to be quite durable. It is great for use in hilly areas.
The MTB is so light that you can pick it up and go two floors through the stairs. So if you do not live on the ground floor, this bike would be convenient to store. The bike also feels very smooth while riding thanks to the well-tuned front suspension.
Most importantly, it is easy to pedal and there is minimum bounce. The assembly is not very difficult because the description mentions all the required tools. However, you will need a pump because the tires are a bit deflated out of the box. We also recommend that you get the brakes tuned before you ride the bike.
It has V brakes but most users mention that it is tricky to adjust them so you might have to take it to a bike shop. Also, the bike does not accept most accessories such as a basket so it is difficult to accessorize. So if you are looking for an affordable bike that works great on bumpy tracks you can go for Mongoose Status.
Huffy Stone Mountain: Best Economical Trail MTB for Women
The Huffy stone bike is available for adults and kids but it is one of the best mountain bikes under $200 for women. It is available in 3 different sizes i.e., 20, 24, and 26 inches. If you are looking for a trail bike but want to use it as a beginner, Huffy Stone would be the right choice.
You can also choose from multiple colors. The overall look of the bike is good with a glossy finish. It is made of steel yet surprisingly lightweight. It is a hardtail that lets you ride comfortably on muddy or uneven tracks without any jumps.
The Shimano rear derailleurs are good for 21-gear shifting. The best part is that assembly is easy because instructions are clear. Moreover, the package includes the tools that are required for putting the bike together.
However, it has some minor issues like the uncomfortable seat and very short brakes. Also, we recommend it for beginners but it does not support very serious trailing. But still, it offers a very comfortable ride under $200. You can click the ‘buy’ button below to find the size chart and pick the bike according to your height.
Dynacraft Magna: Best MTB for Commuting
Dynacraft has many affordable bikes for different users. However, if you are a beginner, Dynacraft Magna would be the best mountain bike for under $200. These are unisex bikes available in three colors and two sizes. This makes it suitable for young girls and boys as well as adults.
Most users love that it is easily assembled and takes very little time to put up. It is a full-suspension bike at a great price. However, the best feature is the gears on this bike as they are very easy to shift.
The bike has a steel frame which makes it heavy and it is difficult to pedal for a long time. It would not be a big issue if you ride on the plain path but off-road riding would require great strength.
The biggest complaint by most users is the uncomfortable seat. So if you are planning to get the bike, you should also get a padded seat to put on the bike. Moreover, due to the packaging and shipping, the wheel might need adjustments otherwise it will wobble. And for that, you can simply true the wheel.
The bike is good for the price. You can also make adjustments to the seat height and the level of the handlebars. As long as you are getting it for commuting purposes, the bike would work nicely.
Pacific Mountain Bike
The Pacific MTB is another good option under $200. This is a hardtail bike so you will have front suspension. It is made of steel and comes in 24-inch wheels (suitable for short-height people or kids) and 26-inch standard adult bike size.
The rear derailleur ensures smooth 18-speed shifting and the bike has V brakes. These brakes give more control to the rider and are quite efficient. Most customers received it assembled or partially assembled so they just had to continue with the next steps.
However, the tools are not included. You would need Allen keys of different sizes to put the bike together. So you can buy a set of Allen keys or take the bike to a bike shop. The handlebars on the bike are not adjustable so make sure you buy the right size.
Some users also complain about the uncomfortable seats but you can fix that by getting a padded seat and they are cheap so not a problem. You can also adjust the height of the seat as you like. Overall, it is a nice bike that suits both uphill and downhill biking.
Elecony MTB: Economical Downhill Bike
The Elecony mountain bike is a hardtail front suspension bike that can easily be managed on bumpy terrain. It has a highly durable structure made of high-carbon steel. You can choose the accurate size according to your height.
The bike has disc brakes which are not common in economical bikes. Thus, it is one of the best mountain bikes under $200. These brakes will let you ride downhill or on slippery tracks. However, these brakes require alignment once you set up the bike.
The tools for assembly are included and they provide a video displaying how to put the bike together. It also has Shimano shifters that ensure smooth shifting of gears. And you will also get a kickstand and bike fenders at this price.
Some users do not like the handle grip on this bike because it is smaller than most other bikes. Other than that, this trail bike offers great value at such a low price.
PanAme Folding Mountain Bike
Another hardtail bike at a reasonable price. This mountain bike has a folding feature which makes it easier to contain when not being used. And although it is made of steel, you can easily carry it.
This bike works fine on all types of tracks and terrains. The overall construction is good and the shocks are of good quality. It offers 21-gear shifting which is great but some users mention that the lower gear does not work as well as it should, even on low inclines.
It only takes 20 to 25 minutes to assemble because most of it is already assembled when you open the package. The folding is made possible by quick-release clamps.
How To Buy Economical Mountain Bikes?
This section is a guide that will explain all the considerations while buying a mountain bike. We will discuss all the options and mention the features to look for in affordable bikes.
Pick Type of Suspension
There are three types of bikes in terms of suspension. The full-suspension bikes are suitable for off-road use because they have both front and back suspension. This way both wheels are able to bear the impact when you ride on bumpy terrain and ensure a smooth ride.
The other type is hardtail bikes. These bikes only have suspension on the fork. This means that only the front wheel has suspension while the one on the back would not absorb the shock on bumpy paths. The back wheel on these bikes shakes a little in such conditions.
The third type is rigid bikes. These bikes do not have suspension at the front or back. So these are only preferred by users who ride on roads or straight paths. These bikes do not have shock-absorbing components and shake off-road. But, these are inexpensive as compared to suspension bikes and are among the best mountain bikes under $200.
Select the Type of Mountain Bike
There are four major types of mountain bikes. You can select the type that best suits your riding paths and style.
Cross Country MTBs
Cross-country bikes have a close appearance to road bikes. These are lightweight bikes, in fact, they are the lightest among MTBs. We recommend these bikes for uphill traveling because they have impressive pedaling performance.
All Mountain Bike
The all-mountain bikes are also known as enduro bikes. They are great for uphill as well as downhill rides. These bikes have good suspension and are great for off-road use but that still does not change their ability to ride uphill. The main reason is their lightweight and good suspension.
These bikes are also known as free-ride bikes. As the name suggests you can only expect downhill riding with this bike. These bikes are heavier compared to cross country and have a bulky appearance. This makes them great for a declining path.
If you enjoy both climbing and downhill riding, this will be the best option. These bikes add more gravity and suspension to the whole experience. These bikes also support jumps commonly on bumpy paths.
Choose a Suitable Bike Frame
Mountain bikes should have high strength because they ride on rough and bumpy paths. Steel bikes are popular because they are very strong and do not corrode. However, it is better to go for lightweight bikes for uphill riding. In that case, aluminum and carbon frame bikes are suitable.
Aluminum is robust yet light in weight and is very common among mountain bikes. Carbon frames are even better for uphill trails. These bikes are stronger than steel and are very light but they are quite expensive.
Type of Brakes
Mountain bikes have two types of brakes i.e, rim and docs brakes. In terms of performance, disc brakes leave rim brakes behind because they offer better and smooth control to the user. They use the hydraulic braking system and require more maintenance. While rim brakes are easy to maintain and cost less than disc brakes. Thus the best mountain bikes under $200 usually have rim brakes.
Select the Size of the Wheels
There are different wheel sizes available for mountain bikes. They usually range from 24 to 29 inches. However, most adult bikes have 26 inches wheels. The selection of the wheel size depends on your height and the riding conditions.
Large or small wheels have their own benefits and challenges. Larger wheels ensure a smooth ride. To understand that, take the example of a kid’s bike and a jeep.
The person riding the small bike would notice a greater impact after riding over a small rock as compared to the person riding the jeep. In fact, the person on the jeep would not even notice the rock and that is because the larger wheels easily pass over such obstacles.
Moreover, large wheels also have a greater surface area coming in contact with the road as compared to smaller wheels. This provides greater traction to the large wheel bikes and affects climbing and brake-applying patterns.
However, small wheels have their own perks. It is easier to pick up speed with these bikes because it takes less arm work. These bikes are great on narrow and twisty tracks as they can take turns and shift speed quickly as compared to large wheels. Smaller wheels are also easier to lean this is especially important while cornering.
Having a lower budget does not mean you have to settle for a poor-quality bike. Now that you have a better understanding of the essential features of MTBs, you can buy the best mountain bikes under $200. All you need is a bike that rides smoothly on your biking terrain and requires minimum maintenance.